Adam’s Rib is what was known as
a screwball comedy but it cleverly
presented—well in advance of its time
—interesting issues about the criminal
justice system. It was a forerunner and
precursor to the idea that there should be
some type of a defense known as battered
woman syndrome. It showed women in a
really strong and positive light as lawyers
and defenders of justice. And that was all
wrapped up in a very clever script where
the husband was a prosecutor played by
Spencer Tracy, and the wife was the defense
attorney played by Katharine Hepburn.
It showed the dynamic between male
and female lawyers, men and women, and
it highlighted some of the stereotypes in
our society at the time about how women
were perceived and treated, and tried to
break through those stereotypes.
I’ve seen it many times.
VICKI I. PODBERESKY / PARTNER, NASATIR
HIRSCH PODBERESKY & KHERO; SANTA
MONICA; CRIMINAL DEFENSE
There’s something about that movie that
speaks to justice and injustice and striving
for personal freedom, both metaphorically
and literally. There are several scenes that
are, to me, some of the greatest scenes in
recent cinematic history.
One of them is the opera scene where
Andy comes across this record—I think it’s
from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro—and he
puts it on and it transports him to a place
of inner freedom. He’s interrupted by the
guard who’s out of the room asking him
what that is. Andy then goes and locks the
guard out, turns on the PA system for the
entire prison, and broadcasts throughout
the prison this really glorious opera, a little
segment of it. ... Everybody just stops. They
look up at their loud speakers. There’s the
Morgan Freeman voiceover that basically
says, “I have no idea what those two Italian
women were singing, but ... for the briefest
of moments, every last man at Shawshank
It was very moving and set the rest of the
film into motion as well.
JONATHAN S. PINK / PARTNER, LEWIS
To Kill a Mockingbird.
BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH; LOS
ANGELES; ENTERTAINMENT, INTELLECTUAL
Gregory Peck really inspired me to
become a plaintiff’s attorney. There
was a statement by Atticus that has
always stayed with me: “You never really
understand a person until you’ve climbed
into their skin and walked around in it.”
I’ve actually used that quote in numerous
closing arguments over the years because I
think it’s that powerful.
Atticus fought hard for Tom Robinson,
even at the risk of his own children being
threatened by people in the community.
The all-white jury still unanimously
convicted the innocent black man, though,
so it’s a heartbreaking story.
VICTOR L. GEORGE / FOUNDER, LAW
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LEGAL MOVIE? AS TOLD TO JESSICA TAM
OFFICES OF VICTOR L. GEORGE; TORRANCE;
EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION: PLAINTIFF,
PERSONAL INJURY: PLAINTIFF